Sprinkle Sugar Cookies ~ the holidays may be over, but winter carries on…and these easy sprinkled sugar cookies will help light your way right through to spring. They’re perfect for just about any occasion you can throw at them, just customize the colors!
I always get the baking urge in January after the holiday crush is over and I have time to enjoy it. These cookies probably should have made it into the Christmas lineup last month, but I figure a great sugar cookie is like a little black dress, it’s never out of place. Accessorize with pink or blue for baby showers, team colors for game day snacks, gorgeous crimson for Valentine’s Day, metallic for an anniversary bash, pastels for Easter…you get the idea.
When it comes to sprinkles I’m a kid at heart. I can’t resist them, I love the colors, the shapes, the crunch… and there aren’t too many desserts that a layer of sprinkles won’t improve. Actual kids love them, too, and love to help make them, so if you’ve got bored housebound little ones hanging around on a snow day, whip up this quick sugar cookie dough and let them take it from there.
The dough comes together like magic in a food processor, no need for extra bowls or mess. You can see it has a beautiful velvety texture in the photo below. Just make sure your egg, butter, and cream cheese are at room temperature. There’s no need to chill it before baking, either. Love that.
Once you’ve rolled your balls of dough in the sprinkles and got them completely covered, you’ll press down gently to flatten them a bit. They bake up into the perfect shape, slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
These cookies are just the excuse I need to out my sprinkle stash, I keep all the little bottles in a giant ziplock freezer bag so I can tote them around easily. Sprinkles last forever, so I’ve collected quite an assortment.
Here’s a rundown of the different types of sprinkles:
- Nonpareils ~ these are the itty bitty little round ones, and they’re the most historic of the bunch, dating back to the 1800s. They’re the messiest, too, and have a tendency to fly everywhere.
- Sprinkles ~ (Jimmies, hundreds of thousands) these are the classic long shapes and my favorites. I’ll show you how to make them yourself, in this post: HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE SPRINKLES.
- Dragées and pearls ~ larger balls with a hard coating, often in metallic colors. While these are pretty, I find them less appealing to eat.
- Confetti ~ (Quinns) these are the little matte finish disks. They come in other shapes, too.
- Multi-shapes ~ nowadays you can get sprinkles in just about any shape you can imagine, from stars and hearts to little holly leaves, shamrocks, and snowflakes.
- Edible glitter ~ super glitzy shimmer, and comes in lots of colors.
- Colored sugar ~ all types, from superfine to large crystal. You can MAKE YOUR OWN COLORED SUGAR, it’s a fun diy project.
*You can also get all natural sprinkles, which are colored with vegetable dyes and are beautiful too, in a more subtle way.
I’m definitely a go big or go home type when it comes to sprinkles, and I like to pile them on, but getting those little guys to stick can be a challenge! When cookies bake, they expand, and the sprinkles spread out leaving gaps. Here are a few tips for getting that fully sprinkled look that everybody loves…
How to get sprinkles to stick to cookies ~
For these cookies you want a thick layer of sprinkles. Here are a few tips for achieving that perfectly sprinkled sugar cookie:
- Put the sprinkles in a small dish deep enough to cover the ball of dough. The deeper the sprinkles, the easier it is to fully coat the dough.
- Work with one cookie at a time, the warmth of your hands will soften the dough and allow the sprinkles to adhere better.
- Push the ball of dough lightly but firmly against the sprinkles to encourage them to thickly coat the surface.
- After flattening the cookies, add additional sprinkles to the top. As the cookie bakes and spreads, they will fill in gaps.
These sprinkle sugar cookies are great for gifting because they’re nice and sturdy.
Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in pieces
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- set oven to 375F
- Put the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the butter, sugar, and cream cheese, and pulse until the butter is well incorporated.
- Add the egg and extracts and process until the dough comes together in a lump.
- Scoop bits of dough out with a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll the dough in sprinkles, making sure to get them completely coated.
- Bake, 2 inches apart, for 8 minutes. Let them cool for a minute on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a rack.
Make it your own ~
- I’m going to make a chocolate version of these next, I will probably try substituting about 1/4 cup of the flour with an equal amount of unsweetened cocoa powder.
Questions and Reviews
Could you put the measurements in grams too?
Do I need to keep these in the fridge after baking cause of the cream cheese?
That would be a good idea.
I have a question about the photo compared to the instructions. In the photo, these cookies appear to be iced and then the sprinkles applied, which would be after baking. The instructions are to roll the raw dough in the sprinkles and then bake. Do they come out of the oven with the finish we see in the photograph?
These cookies are not iced, that’s just the sprinkles you’re seeing. They bake up that way when you coat them really well.
I’m really excited to make these with my daughter, but can I just use my stand mixer instead of a food processor?
Yes, for sure ~ hope you enjoy them!
Are you able to use the recipe without cream cheese?
I haven’t tried that Katherine, so I’m not sure, sorry.
Love these cookies. And, love how easy they are.
Question: Can these be rolled-out? I’d like to use cookie cutters.
This dough is soft and spreads a little, so if you roll it and use cutters the shapes won’t be tack sharp. If you give it a try you’ll want to have your cut cookies chill before baking. You might also try my basic sugar cookie dough which is formulated for cookie cutters, here: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/holiday-sugar-cookies-diy-colored-sugar/
I made these and all I can say is WOW!!! These are so easy and delicious thank you for the recipe
What is a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop? I am looking everywhere and no one sells it with that description? Do you know how many tablespoons it is equal to? Thank you
It’s a medium cookie scoop, and equals about 1 1/2 Tbsp, approximately.
Do you think I could make these with almond flour to make them gluten free? I thought the slight almond flavor would be good.
I would think it would be better to use a good all purpose gluten free baking mix, rather than just almond flour Kristin, because the almond flour alone will make these cookies too delicate.
can I make the dough and freeze it ahead of baking? thx
Would you freeze the dough with or without the sprinkles?
Without, then defrost and coat with the sprinkles before baking.
Awesome! Thank you!